The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Erik Lopez
For The Shafter Press 

Local students beat summer heat


Shafter Learning Center

Children get artistically innovated at the Shafter Learning Center.

As the Shafter community has started to prepare for summer break, students are already enjoying their vacation from the regular school year. However, at the Shafter Learning Center, education continues.

School Project Director Dr. David Franz has averaged 100 K-8th grade students each day by collaborating with different teachers in week-long classes. Teacher recommendations and parent involvement play key roles in making summer a defining point in the lives of these students.

"Summer is a time when a lot of parents are looking for quality activities for their kids. We are glad that so many are taking advantage of what is offered at the learning center," Franz enthusiastically declared in an interview last week.

Parents themselves can become involved by being aware of their childs' academics and broadening the learning material given to their children - and the SLC is providing the resources to this with their many summer courses.

During the regular school year, students do not have access to classes like those at the center, such as volcano building. There are several stages of how a volcano forms, and interested kids can get the full story if they attend one of the classes for different age levels. They will be given a hands-on opportunity of building their own volcano, while understanding the chemical concepts that make the volcanic process work.

Children become part of the effort when they study harder -- and that makes the learning fun. As for the places where learning takes place, there are already advanced curriculum classes being offered, in our case at the SLC. For example, there are several experts in teaching elementary and middle-school level courses. In the middle of June, instructor Ivonne Hernandez will teach STEM Challenges (3rd-4th grades). Later, in early July, Joel Perez will coordinate Geology (3rd-4th grades). For the tech savvy, Bryan Jacobs started a class early last week with Airplanes and Rockets.

Students can win a "book buck" every time they attend a class, and with just three book bucks, learners can take home their own book from prize shelves.

Shafter Learning Center

Kids get help to reach their potential.

Over 50 classes are planned for the program this summer, taught by 20 instructors. When asked what was the reward for the Shafter community, Franz responded, "We want the classes to be fun, but for Shafter, this isn't just about giving kids something to do. This is an investment."

"We are trying to help young people explore new things and the love of learning. If students find something that they are interested in, it changes the way they approach school all year," which undermines any counterargument any concerned individuals may have.

Parents can sign up their kids at 236 James St. or by calling 661-746-5055.


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